Most police barricades in Islamabad will be removed within 15 days. Starting with the one on Jinnah Avenue, most police checkpoints will be removed, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Bani Amin Khan told a group of senators in a meeting on Tuesday.
The Senate Standing Committee on Interior meeting grilled the IGP and Islamabad commissioner on violation of government policy in postings in Islamabad. They also questioned the two about the rising crime in the city.
The IGP said no new personnel had been recruited into Islamabad police in the past six years, which was making it difficult for them to manage operations.
He said 29% of Islamabad Police is deployed in operations, while the remaining officers are on VVIP duties. There is a shortage of 800 police officials, he added. He also gave a presentation to the committee detailing how the crime rate in Islamabad had fallen in 2011.
The committee members criticised Khan on illegal transfers and postings of Station House Officers (SHOs) in police stations. Senator Talha Mehmood, the committee’s chairperson, directed the IGP to submit the record of SHO and DSP appointments within a week.
The members observed that usually the postings of SHOs were made on phone calls from “certain influential people”. Islamabad Chief Commissioner Tariq Mehmood Pirzada admitted to the fact and said, “Yes, we [make] considerations for phone calls.”
In an air of consensus the committee observed that phone call appointments were a hindrance in “the posting of the right man in the right place”.
The senate body also criticised the IGP for the high number of pending cases with the police. About 14,000 cases are still pending with the police, according to Khan.
Ninety-eight false cases were registered with the police this year as compared to 190 last year. The IGP suggested that registration of false cases should be made a cognizable offence and its punishment should be the same of the crime for which the false case was registered.
The committee agreed to the suggestion and said the crime should be punishable by up to three years in prison.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011.